Major Leagues: Braves miss Chipper in Phillies win
By Charles Odum
ATLANTA ó Braves third baseman Chipper Jones was held out of Sunday’s 6-3 loss to Philadelphia due to a small tear in his right quadriceps, and may miss one or two more games.
Ryan Howard drove in two runs in the ninth inning with his third double of the game. Howard finished 3-for-5 with four RBIs and the first three-double game of his career. The Phillies have won four straight and 12 of 14.
Atlanta (32-32), fell back to .500 and went from 31/2 to 61/2 games behind the Phillies in three days.
The Braves, a miserable 7-21 on the road, begin a 10-day, 10-game road trip in Chicago on Tuesday.
“We just lost all three games to the division leaders … and we’re heading out on the road where we haven’t exactly lit it up,” Jones said. “So I don’t know about anybody else, I’m worried. I don’t want to come back from this road trip and be out of the race.”
Mark Teixeira hit a 2-run homer, but the Braves missed Jones’ .420 batting average.
“Chipper’s a difference-maker,” manager Bobby Cox said. “You need him in the lineup. He can make a difference real quick.”
Jones’ injury is only the latest this season for Atlanta. John Smoltz will have season-ending shoulder surgery on Tuesday. The Braves have been without closer Rafael Soriano most of the season. Top setup reliever Peter Moylan went on the disabled list to have season-ending elbow surgery. Center fielder Mark Kotsay has been out since May 26 with a back strain.
“Nothing surprises me in this clubhouse anymore,” Jones said. “It’s just another bad blow.”